Friday, February 28, 2014

The Life of a Homeschooling Military Family: Flexibility

Last week, I blogged about ways our homeschool was different because we're a military family.  One of the ways that our homechool is the same as just about everyone else is that we enjoy the flexibility that homeschooling offers our family.  Some of the reasons, however, are specifically because we're a military family.  I'm going to use several military acronyms or phrases in this post, but will explain each one for my non-military friends.  :)

Flexibility in our Military Life

Military work schedules vary widely.  Some people work a regular first shift job, some servicemembers work different shifts, some work for a few days then they are off for a few days and repeat the schedule.  They deploy, go TDY (that means travel for work), attend a variety of schools or training courses, and have field exercises. Suffice it to say, there's rarely a period of consistency.

There's a saying in the military, "Hurry up and wait."  We say it around here to remind ourselves that the Army making very important decisions for us. "When is your training?" " When do you deploy?" "When do you come home?"  And then there's the exciting occurrence of "coming down on orders"--for you civilian folks, that means getting word that it's time to move.  The news of orders mean you could have anywhere from 6 months or more to get everything in order prior to PCS-ing (moving) or you could have just 45 days.  Or less!


In an environment such as ours, we have no choice but to be flexible.  Someone else is making decisions that directly affect our family and there's not much we can do about that.  Being an Army family was a choice we made a long time ago so we accept the decisions made for us and do the best we can.  I'm not saying everything has been sunshine and roses for the past decade, I just mean we can choose to be flexible or we can choose to be defiant.  Only one of those behaviors is going to work out in this lifestyle.

Get it?  Because rubber bands are flexible.  :)

Flexibility in Our Homeschooling

When Adam is away, we tend to get a little more work done in our homeschool. We often do a little extra schoolwork in the evening after dinner or maybe a little on the weekends. When he's away for extended periods of time, we have the option to pack it up and travel "home" to see family.  This works out well for us because we are able to visit extended family members without giving up family time with Dad.  If the boys were attending public school, traveling wouldn't be an option for us.

By working hard while Dad is away, being able to take time off when he returns--especially from a lengthy deployment--is a great  blessing to us.  Reintegration as a family can be a difficult time so being able to focus solely on our family following a deployment is crucial to our well-being.  This also works well for when Adam has a long weekend because we're able to take those days off along with him.  However, we do try to use "four-days" (long weekend with four days off, typically Friday through Monday) as fun science days or field trip days.

You can see why flexibility is a great attribute to our homeschooling and military life.  We have to be flexible as a military family because we are not the ones in control in certain decision making aspects and we are flexible in our homeschool as a result of those decisions.

How does being flexible shape your homeschool life?

1 comment:

  1. We're are able to participate in extra curricular activities, like piano lessons and dance class, that are only available to us during traditional school hours. My oldest daughter also thrives on the flexibility of "night school" every once in a while.


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